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  • USA Today: Justices side with death row inmate abandoned by counsel

    1/18/12

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 7-2 vote Wednesday that an Alabama death row prisoner should not be prevented from appealing because he missed a deadline after his lawyers dropped his case and failed to tell him.

    The two lawyers at the New York firm of Sullivan and Cromwell failed to alert Alabama court authorities, so that when a court clerk sent papers to the lawyers, the firm's mailroom returned them unopened marked, "Return to Sender — Left Firm" and "Returned to Sender — Attempted, Unknown."

  • LDF Files Friend of the Court Brief in Supreme Court Healthcare Case

    1/13/12

    Today, LDF filed a “friend of the court” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Department of Health & Human Services v. Florida.  The brief urges the Court to uphold the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care legislation passed by Congress in 2010, which has been challenged on constitutional grounds.  

  • Fayette school board settles voting lawsuit with NAACP

    1/10/12

    The Fayette County Board of Education has agreed to settle its part of an NAACP lawsuit challenging the county's voting process that the civil right group says has kept blacks from serving on the school board and county commission.

  • Maryland’s Highest Court Unanimously Upholds Right to Counsel at Initial Bail Hearings

    1/09/12

    On January 4, 2012, Maryland’s highest court issued a unanimous ruling in Richmond v. District Court of Maryland that guarantees the right of indigent defendants to have a lawyer present at their initial bail hearing.  At this hearing which occurs shortly after an individual is arrested and detained, a District Court Commissioner determines whether there was probable cause for the arrest and, if so, whether the individual should be released pending trial and under what conditions. 

  • Holder Is Right About Carolina Voting Law

    1/05/12

    LDF, the National Urban League and the NAACP respond to a Wall Street Journal editorial criticizing the Justice Department challenge of South Carolina's new voter ID law.